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Members of the Ethical Blogger Network have joined forces to create an Ethical Gift Guide series. Just click through the links at the end of this post to see tons of other picks for all of your loved ones.
I chose "older women" or, more creatively titled, "your sophisticated grandmother," because I work with a lot of elegant older women and I think they deserve a place in the Holiday Gift Guide category. I chose these gifts with a particular volunteer in mind. Her name is Fiona (her sister's name is Hermione!) and she's originally from England. Her father was in the army and she grew up in prep schools. Her modest home is filled with perfectly pressed vintage linens and Downton Abbey-esque oil painted portraits of family. Though Fiona may not represent the average older woman, I think all older women are sophisticated and deserve thoughtful gifts.
1. Alex & Ani Cross Pull Chain Bracelet, $68.00
This bracelet is understated, but still impactful. Alex & Ani products are made in the USA, some out of recycled metals. I was told by several of my older employees that this style works well for people with arthritis, because you don't have to unclasp anything to put it on or adjust it.
2. Equal Exchange Organic Chamomile Tea, $4.50
I'm a longtime Equal Exchange fan and this organic, fairly sourced tea is the perfect thing at the end of a cold day. It's caffeine free, too, which means those with caffeine sensitivities can imbibe without repercussions.
3. Hand in Hand Soap in Rose Water, 2-pack, $18.00
Palm free (this is why that matters), cruelty free, American made soap: what more could you want? Soap is one of those everyday essentials I often forget to shop consciously, but I've been on the hunt for a palm free soap for a few months, because palm oil is destroying tropical forests and the living creatures that depend on them. And everyone can use a bar of soap, especially when it's packaged this beautifully.
4. Meditation Candle in Expand from Zady*, $30.00
This white floral scented soy candle is made in the USA. The jar is so delicate and simple that it's worth leaving out even after the candle's burned up. I recommend using an electric candle warmer for candles that you consider special, because it uses up wax slowly and evenly.
5. Love Goodly Box*, $39.95 for 1
I haven't tried this box yet, but I'm intrigued. There are lots of subscription boxes on the market, but this one focuses on all natural and sustainable skincare, so it's one size fits all. Boxes are sent bi-monthly and you get 5-7 full size products, samples, snacks, and eco-accessories. The older women I know treat their skin and themselves well, because they know it's the only body they have to work with, so I could see them really enjoying this box.
6. Spiral Tide Mug from Ten Thousand Villages, $18.00
This fair trade mug was produced by skilled ceramicists in Bat Trang, Vietnam. It's pretty without being overly feminine and would suit a variety of styles and kitchen themes, so I think it makes a versatile gift. It goes perfectly with the Equal Exchange tea.